How to reply with a decline to someone who asks for a discount?

Every once in a while, I get a potential guest who wants to negotiate a better price or straight out asks me to drop the nightly price, sometimes by a third. I always respond with, “Thank you for the inquiry but I will have to decline as I do not negotiate my nightly rate. Boulder has many lovely Airbnb’s and I am sure you will find one that suits your needs.” The last one who asked to “negotiate” got really mad at me for declining her, saying it was common practice with VRBO to negotiate a better price (another good reason not to use that site). However, once they ask for a discount, I always decline because, from my experience, they will never be satisfied and give me fewer than five stars – at least for “value”. I have two questions:

  1. How can I answer/decline a discount enquiry in a better way so that they don’t get mad at me?
  2. Should I automatically decline these people? What is your policy?



At first I fell for a few of these, but actually upon reading (and following) the suggestions of others, on this board, I never have since. How to say no? I guess maybe say, the price is more than fair based on the merits of your listing.

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That is pretty darn polite and generous. Her anger is a reflection on her, not you.


I know it’s simplistic but I just say ‘sorry, we don’t give discounts’.


You don’t need to worry about whether the potential guests get mad at you. You have every right to decline them and you’re doing it extremely gracefully. It is illogical to say that because discounts are common in another venue that Airbnb hosts should offer them. That would be like me going to a department store and pitching a fit that they won’t bargain with me because at swap meets bargaining is the norm.

I’m lenient with guests in almost everything except price. I believe that my price is more than fair and I’m sticking to it. I automatically decline guests who ask for a discount and I don’t explain myself.


“What part of NO did you not understand?”


This the exchanged that followed. I guess I should not have responded, but she did ask the question:

Dawn: Does that mean you’ve declined my request to book entirely?

Me: Yes, I’m sorry, but I’d rather have guests who see the value in my place. Best of luck. Sandy

Dawn: My apologies. That’s a common practice on VRBO. I had no idea it was such an offending question.


My most recent favorite is someone who is booked for four days at the end of next month. She asked for a $100/night discount AFTER she booked. I politely said no, pointed out that it is a home game weekend for the CU Buffs, and I offered her a full discount if she wanted to cancel, even though I have a strict cancellation policy. She replied that, no, she would like to stay at my place. I’ll let you know what kind of review she leaves …


I find the “Bargaining is a common practice on …” so irritating. It’s easy to see that our prices are quite a bargain. How would these hagglers like it if they went to work and their boss asked them to work for substantially less, then was perplexed at their irritation because bargaining is “common practice”.


I have given discounts and other times say no. It all depends on the season, how many days I have open, etc.

I have had guests who asked for a discount, I said no, they booked and still left me a lovely review.

It all depends on my mood that day.


Probably a good review, because one thing for sure, she will respect you.


"Thanks for your inquiry. I don’t discount because I can book all of my desired days at full price. "


Thanks for your message. I’m sorry, I prefer not to host guests who aren’t happy with the prices that I ask, as my aim is to make my guests happy. (Declined.)

I must admit I once got a request for an entire month, the busiest month of the year, and she offered a ridiculous price (less than a third of the quoted price for a whole-month discount… or in other words about 80% off what I could earn for that month with short stays). She said I should rent it to her as she would be very clean, she would pay up front and the whole month would be booked. She had zero reviews and only one verification. I told her that I’m not in the habit of giving €2000 to complete strangers.

Hands down the funniest one that asked blunt questions all answered in the ad, and I finally declined him with the same answer (I don’t believe you’ll be happy here). The sort of guest that books inner city then gets annoyed there is traffic or no views of a farm nearby, etc, because they didn’t read the description. He continued to send questions starting with, “I intend to book your apartment, as long as you provide (x, y, z) and as long as you have (x, y, z)” which were of course things I don’t do and features my property doesn’t have. Even after being told point-blank that I have declined him and will not be hosting, the reply was along the lines of, “Very well, in that case I am prepared to pay (slight discount) which is more than I offered before.”

How about “NO”, buddy?


We get this all the time and as @Evelyn said it depends on my mood. My typical answer is sorry no discounts, but we are going into slow season and I would consider knocking off €100 or so if the guest was a good fit for us. (Ie small group, family, longer booking, etc). We had multiple of theae requests in July our busiest month, for whole month bookings. I just declined, knowing even at a wee discount the person would not be happy.

Also, i would say 90% of the discount aeekers that I do offer ‘something’ too, dont book. I got one yesterday, saying she would book immediately if I could lower the price. Offered here €100 off, and never hears from her again.


I had one at the beginning of the summer who wanted to rent my place for all of August and one week in September (two of my busiest months) for a 30% discount, not counting cleaning fees (I do my own cleaning – $65 per stay). I declined and she came back twice – not offering more but saying that her price was all she budgeted for. I continued to decline. By doing so, I am earning over $2000 more. And, she and her husband had a twelve-year old child (I do not accept children). Plus, such a long-term guest might do more damage. Had I not been doing this for over a year, I might have accepted. I’m glad I didn’t. $2K is a lot of money in my world!


I will add, I used to discount on my first property and then I thought about what sort of guest I wanted.

It came down to this: I didn’t want bargain-hunters. They were far and away the ones more likely to eat in the beds, track mud across my floors and leave every dish dirty in the sink. I want people who choose my place for its amenities, its location, its standards. People who believe that what I have is worth the price I ask. Not people who only want a bed and don’t care for anything special - they can book with someone who doesn’t offer anything special.


Please do!
At the moment I’m waiting for a review from a businessman who apparently wasn’t happy that I don’t provide breakfast. We had a discussion about it before he booked and I advised him all the adresses near us: “There’s a coffeeshop with nice selection just across the street, blablabla.” Ok, that’s fine he replayed.
He didn’t find our place and phoned me downstairs that I should come and search for him. I told him that he is on the wrong door and he should just go to the other side of the building where we have a code which I always send to the guest with the information that they can enter from the inner yard with the code… When he was finally here he started asking: “What about my breakfast?” I repeated the information about the coffeehouse, and I’ve got a feeling this is not going to end nicely with the review…
After he checked out I checked the hotel prices in the neighborhood. We’re 52€/night, the nearest hotel is 150-199€/night WITHOUT breakfast. With that 100 € you get some sort of a breakfast I guess.

And for the bargaining I always answer shortly. Some people have made so many excuses how they should get the place for less… and there isn’t really a reason for that.


One of the best things I read on this site is that Airbnb stands for Air (which you provide), B = bed, which you do provide, N stands for No, and the second B stands for breakfast – Air + Bed + No Breakfast (in other words, it doesn’t say B&B, it says BNB) :slight_smile:

Of course, when I was traveling in Europe and told Europeans about my Airbnb place, they were shocked that I didn’t include breakfast!


Here’s a link to an interview with Brian Chesky where he explains that Airbnb originally stood for Air Bed & Breakfast and that he did provide breakfast.

I don’t even reply anymore, I just straight decline. Same if they ask questions that are obvious if you read the listing. If it were the slow season, I’d consider these guests (if they agreed to no discount) but I don’t feel I need to spend time reaponding to or assisting those I am not going to host.